Knights Takedown Tulsa in Four

TULSA, Okla. – The UCF volleyball team (11-5, 4-0) took down Tulsa (7-6, 2-2) in four sets on Saturday in Tulsa, Oklahoma with scores of 25-15, 27-29, 25-19, 25-17 to extend its conference record to 4-0.
"I thought we passed well, much better than we did Friday, which led to us running our offense that led to points," head coach Todd Dagenais said, "I think Katelyn and McKenna had a lot to do with that. But Tulsa is an unbelievable defensive team so we knew we had to do some exceptional things to score points." 

"The bench did a great job of bringing the energy and was the MVP of the whole weekend," Dagenais added, "They kept the group on the floor focused and believing."
Amber Olson reached a major milestone in the first set with 2,000 career assists and a game-high 49 assists.
McKenna Melville grabbed another double-double this weekend, notching 19 kills and 19 digs while Heidi Bonde had an outstanding match with 16 kills, hitting .412 and only had two errors. Nerissa Moravec also continued her momentum from Friday as she picked up 11 kills to hit .529 and four blocks. Chloe Scheer led in the back row with 21 digs. Melville and Olson each grabbed three aces while Claudia Dillon and Anne-Marie Watson also earned three blocks each.
The Knights came out hot to set the tone early, taking the first five points, 5-0. They continued to hold a strong lead and the Golden Hurricane were unable to make a move as the Knights led, 18-13. UCF then took off on a 7-0 run with help from everyone on the floor to take the first set in 25-15. The Knights had 16 kills and hit .275.
Tulsa found their rhythm in the second to stay within a few points of UCF. After a few UCF runs, the Golden Hurricane went on a 4-0 run right out of their timeout to close in on the Knights, 15-14. It was a battle from there as Tulsa tied the set 19-19. The Knights grabbed a 3-0 run with kills from Moravec and Dillon to lead 23-20, but Tulsa was not going down without a fight and tied the set, 24-24. It took multiple of set points and extra points, but Tulsa came away with the set win in 29-27 to tie the match up 1-1.
The third set began like the second ended, a point-for-point battle. The set was tied 8-8, but the Knights went on a huge 6-0 run to take charge and lead 12-8. Per usual, everyone on the court pitched in with kills from Melville, Watson, Moravec, and Bonde to lead 16-10, forcing a Tulsa timeout. UCF was not about to let this one slip, using a pair of 3-0 runs to walk away, 24-15. The Golden Hurricane tried to make another go at it with a 4-0 run, but Melville hammered one down for the kill to take the third in 25-19 and lead the match 2-1.
Another back-and-forth fight to start a big fourth set as the two teams were tied, 10-10. But the Knights went on a 3-0 run to build momentum as they led by as much as five 20-15. UCF then used a 3-0 to seal the set win in 25-17 and win the match 3-1.

The Knights extend to a seven-game winning streak.
[On team's performance]
I think the strength of a growing team and a team that's getting better is the fact that we have other people stepping up. It's really great when you don't always have to depend on one or two people. We got a lot from not only our oldest players of the group, but also from our younger players like Katelyn and Heidi. Katelyn was fantastic in the back row and for Heidi to get the start on a Sunday road game with 16 kills and only two errors is really tough to ask. I also thought Nerissa had a player of the week type weekend and Amber played smart with how she distributed the ball.

[On the second set]
We missed too many serves and had 10 errors, so they only had to score 13 points to win because we went over time.

[On the weekend]
The Wichita State and Tulsa trip is always tough because there are no direct flights, it's a long trip, but they are also both really competitive at home. I think we got the best of both teams this weekend. We didn't play great all the time, but we still played really well.
The Knights return home to The Venue next weekend, facing Houston on Friday and Tulane on Sunday.
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